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Specialized Pro-resolving Mediators for Rosacea?


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Lipoxygenase image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

In an article published in National Geographic, a new approach is discussed to treating inflammatory diseases (one theory is that rosacea is an inflammatory disease) using Specialized Pro-resolving Mediators (SPM) which were discovered in the 1990s by Charles Serhan, a professor of anesthesia at Harvard Medical School. [1] Prominent SMP members include the resolvins and protectins. [2]

"SPM join the long list of other physiological agents which tend to limit inflammation (see Inflammation § Resolution) including glucocorticoids, interleukin 10 (an anti-inflammatory cytokine), interleukin 1 receptor antagonist (an inhibitor of the action of pro-inflammatory cytokine, interleukin 1), annexin A1 (an inhibitor of formation of pro-inflammatory metabolites of polyunsaturated fatty acids), and the gaseous resolvins, carbon monoxide (see Carbon monoxide § Physiology), nitric oxide (see Nitric oxide § Biological functions), and hydrogen sulfide (see Hydrogen sulfide § Function in the body and Hydrogen sulfide § Involvement in diseases)." [2]

The cytokines mentioned above are related to the Immune System Disorder theory of rosacea. [3]

Serhan was searching for fatty lipid molecules when he identified lipoxin that seemed to reduce inflammation. "Scientists speculate that one way lipoxins and other pro-resolution molecules work is by interacting with immune cells called macrophages." [1]

"A lipoxin (LX or Lx), an acronym for lipoxygenase interaction product, is a bioactive autacoid metabolite of arachidonic acid made by various cell types." [4]

"SPMs are being tested extensively in animal models of diseases like cancer and sepsis, and more modestly in small patient trials studying eczema and periodontal disease." [1] Whether SMPs are ever being considered to treat rosacea remains to be seen. Could a non profit organization for rosacea patient advocacy like the RRDi engage in a small patient trial studying rosacea? Depends if you can get enough members to get together to sponsor such a trial. 

Learn more about rosacea research.

End Notes 

[1] The end of inflammation? New approach could treat dozens of diseases., Connie Chang, National Geographic
Published March 4, 2022

[2] Specialized Pro-resolving Mediators, Wikipedia

[3] Innate Immune Response Disorder Theory

[4] Lipoxin, Wikipedia

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